Welcome to the One Block North blog.
One Block North is a book in the works–a compendium of bike stories that celebrate all the cycling communities in and around Toronto and the GTA. I started this project because I felt I was hoarding something that needed to be shared.
A couple of summers ago, I was volunteering at a Valet Bike Parking gig at the Wychwood Barns Farmer’s Market. People would bring their bikes for us to watch and some of these bikes were pretty sweet. If I commented on the bike, often as not the cyclist would launch into an extraordinary story. The stories were by turns entertaining, inspiring, romantic, heck some could be called swashbuckling (why not?) Whenever I say I think these stories should be collected and published, even the non-cyclists say they’d buy a book like that. So, here I am.
Who am I and why do I feel qualified to do this? Well, I’m an avid cyclist living in downtown Toronto. I use my Rocky Mountain bike for commuting, running errands, exercise, and for exploring the area. My only qualifications are that I’m a technical writer by profession and I’ve started collecting the stories. And so, I decided to come at this from the “smitten insider” perspective.
This blog is my spot for alerting anyone who’s interested in how the book is coming along. I plan to describe the process occasionally since I’m so new to it, but mostly I just want to share my excitement at who I’m interviewing and how much I love being a part of this great community. Since I don’t want to limit the book’s potential, I’m interviewing anyone on a bike who might have a story: commuters, policemen, couriers, trick riders and flatlanders, people on tandems, people on unicycles… anyone who rolls around the city on wheels. And it makes sense to visit as many of the great cycling organizations and events in town, so I’ll be writing reports on those visits too. Toronto cyclists: I salute you!
Interviewees are given the opportunity to remain anonymous, so unless the person I interview is already pretty public, I won’t be identifying them here without their permission. However, I will give a few of the fun details, just to get you salivating for the full story.
If you or someone you know has a great cycling story, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org